Suzanne Olsen's Humor Blog - I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Category: Fears Page 1 of 2

Happy Birthday, America!

Sticky post

It’s our 244th birthday! Ever since July 4, 1776 we’ve spent money buying explosives that light up the sky for several nights, booming so loud that old curse when they go to bed at 8:30 and dogs to bark continuously and pee on the floor. 

On the actual holiday, we gorge ourselves on fried chicken, potato salad, and white sheet cakes with strawberries and blueberries and Cool Whip to make the Stars and Stripes that our bellies refuse to digest, stretching our American elastic waistbands beyond their endurance.

We are a good country, formed on sound principles written in the Declaration of Independence – that revered document we celebrate every July 4. The most famous quote says that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Our country seems like a mess right now with all the protests. We’ve been here before, but my hope is that after this year is we don’t go back again. I hope we will all remember that pursuing happiness can’t happen when you are angry. No matter what side of a political fence you’re on, if you hate others because of the color of their skin or the nation they came from, you cannot pursue happiness. Hate makes you angry. 

Go ahead, think about that for a minute. Has your child (or you, when you were a child) ever had a hissy fit, slammed a door, and shouted, “I hate you?” Are they smiling and happy? No, they’d kick you in the shin if they could get away with it. Now think about that same child looking into your eyes and saying, “I love you.” That’s happiness right there. It’s dang near impossible to find happiness when you’re angry – and pretty easy to be happy when you love someone.

It’s that simple – if we want to pursue happiness, we have to love each other. I know this goes against what you may have been taught by your angry parents, uncles, aunts, teachers, bosses etc., but it is the truth. And the truth will set you free – give you Liberty, and that will give you Life, and free you up to pursue Happiness.

Those old guys were pretty smart back in 1776. 

The video below was sent to me by my 93 year old friend, Pearl. Another very smart person. It’s a short version of a 1985 documentary where a teacher does an experiment in discrimination. It’s only 6 minutes long and well worth watching. The link to the full documentary is below that – it’s about an hour long. Happy 4th of July everyone!

https://www.pbs.org/video/frontline-class-divided/

Death by Sticky Bun

Last week at an outdoor farmer’s market, I didn’t notice this hefty woman coming toward me until she was almost beside me. At the precise second I saw her, she ah-choooooed into her stubby hand. Her sneeze spewed sideways on me like a blast from a fire hose. No social distancing, no sneezing into her elbow, no mask. Oblivious, she lumbered on, enticed by the distant aroma of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, her hand saturated with sneeze goo.

She waddled over to the cinnamon roll booth, fondled her credit card with her wet, germy hand and pointed to the pastry of her desire. The bun lady took her credit card with a hand encased in a vinyl glove, which was instantly contaminated with a gazillion germs. Germs don’t care if they are on your hand or on your glove. They’re happy either way.

Wandy and Brendy and the Bees

When I was ten or eleven, I had a couple of summer friends, sisters named Wanda and Brenda. Their mother, a stocky woman who wasn’t old enough to wear dentures but did anyway, would holler, “Wan-deeeee, Bren-deeee” so I called them that too. Wandy and Brendy’s house was full of ceramic figurines they called what-nots – I called them”what-not” to have. Ceramic cats, dogs, clowns, toadstools with frogs and pixies perched on the coffee and end tables, mantle, top of the TV. No horizontal surface was left uncovered.

In Trouble with the IRS – Again

That lady called again – the one who sounds like she’s just finished smoking a couple cartons of cigarettes. She said I’m in trouble with the IRS. I didn’t quite get the reason because she won’t leave a complete message. The recording always starts mid-sentence, spoken with her deep, gravely voice: “…with the IRS. You need to call the tax center immediately to avoid additional penalties and possibly jail time. Call 515 837….”

Like every American, I’m terrified of the IRS. They have the power to bankrupt even famous people like Willy Nelson. Once I got a letter from them saying I’d made an error on a tax return I’d filled out three years before. They charged me nearly two hundred dollars in interest and penalties – the math error itself was only about thirty-nine bucks – but I’m not complaining (in case they’re reading this). I’m just happy I only had to pay three years worth of interest for them to get around to noticing the error.  

I don’t mess with the IRS.

But here’s what I can’t understand. If they’re so powerful, and they’re really after me, can’t they at least leave a whole, intact message?

And why doesn’t the IRS have a 1-800 number to call back? They’re going to throw me in jail AND make me pay for the call?

Also, why is their agent always a woman with a low, threatening voice like she’s at some Mafia funeral – like she’s saying, “You better cooperate or you’ll be next on Guido’s list.” Can’t the IRS hire a regular person to terrify me?

Fear of Being Afraid

It took a lot of guts for me to get up on stage last night at the open mike. I am the bravest coward I know. Once in high school a friend wrote a report and described a person who was afraid of everything. Someone else in the class said, “Hey, that’s your friend, Suzy!” Her report was about me, I found out later. I wasn’t afraid to bitch slap the friend who used me for her report, I’ll tell you that.

But seriously, do I use the words “bitch slap” too often? I actually look for places I can insert those words. Like above – I did not bitch slap my friend. I just never spoke to her again. Same thing, but, in my mind, it doesn’t sound as funny as bitch slap.

I am afraid of everything. I’m especially afraid I’ve written about this topic before, because every time I do something I can’t believe I had the nerve to do, I always want to tell everyone about it. Maybe I like to show that even though I’m timid and shy and a scaredy-cat, I’m not afraid to act, so you better not mess with me.

I have been in scary situations that people think I’m making up, but usually it’s because I have no other choice. When I’m doing something brave, my hands are shaking, my voice is shaking (if it shows up at all), and I’ve got “Sissy Girl” written all over me in my body language – fidgeting, crossed arms, shaking leg, slouching – I’ve got ‘em all. If I don’t, it’s because I remembered reading that these were signs of fear and I try to counteract them. Here’s a site that has some of them if you are nodding your head right now and thinking, “hmmm, I do that stuff all the time…” www.ehow.com/how_2383301_read-fear-body-language.html

My biggest fear, however, is that fear itself will keep me from doing something. Like going onstage. I sat there trying to talk myself out of it, but in the end I knew I had nothing to lose except pride, reputation, a few years of my life from a heart attack, and my mind. Down at the heart of it, though, fear alone was the only reason for me not to go onstage.

I battle that day and night – whether new people will like me at a party (they seem to, but I’m ALWAYS afraid they won’t), whether people will read this blog (I have a bunch of site members, but there’s a constant fear that I may lose my sense of humor), whether I will trip and fall on my face, say something stupid, hurt someone’s feelings, forget an appointment, do something embarrassing – you name it, I’m afraid of it.

But I keep saying to myself, “Just keep on doing it. Just show up. Just try. Just do damage control if you have to.” And sometimes I say, “Just shut the F up,” when my fears are on the verge of completely derailing me.

Right now, for instance, I’m afraid it’s not okay for me to reveal my fears in public. But you know what I say to that? Screw it. I’ve got to frickin’ post something and this is already written, so screw it. I’m doin’ it!

Surviving Through Lunacy

I was walking my dog on some wooded trails near my house when I passed a creepy guy. I’d been deep in thought, probably day dreaming about the cookies I’d made and how I wished I had stuck a few in my pocket. I wasn’t thinking about being alone out there with my 9-pound dog, who, as far as protection goes, would have about the same effect as being pinched by a toddler if she chomped down on an attacker.

Hair started rising on my arms, and I was getting that prickly feeling on the back of my neck. I nonchalantly quickened my pace while I thought about worst-case scenarios. He could have turned around and was now following me, and would soon close the gap between us. It was a cold, cloudy, ugly, miserable day and we were probably the only souls in that million-acre park with nothing but lonesome trees to hear my screams.

I was getting frantic. I couldn’t outrun him, or outfight him. I had to make myself unappealing to him, but how? And then I came up with a brilliant plan. I started talking to the dog.

“I can’t believe I got cooties,” I said loudly, as if the dog was deaf. “I itch all over.” I feverishly scratched my head. “This is the most stubborn case I’ve ever had. They’re everywhere.”

To prove it, I extended the scratching to my arms and back. “I sure hope you don’t get the cooties from me. You think fleas are bad, they’re nothing compared to these cooties. They get in your hair and all over your bedding. It’s almost impossible to get rid of ’em.” Then I let out an exasperated shout, “Oh I HATE these cooties.”

I got the idea about talking out loud from hiking in grassy areas where snakes could be lurking.

“Listen here, snakes,” I say. “I’m a big, mean, snake-stomping machine and you had better crawl out of my path unless you want your eyeballs to squirt out of your head when I come down on you with my size 11 shoe. You better get on down the road and don’t look back or I’ll flatten you into a snakeskin belt. You better take your rattling behind on out of here or I’ll twist it off and give it to a baby for a play pretty. You better…” and so on.

I jabbered about the cooties for about fifteen more minutes, scratching like a flea-infested orangutan in a kid’s movie, not daring to look back or slow down. Finally I came up to the road. Only then did I turn and see an absolutely empty path.

“We scared him away,” I told my dog. She looked up at me and said, “I’ve been itching like crazy this whole time with all this talk. You better NOT give me the cooties or I will rain down an unholy ocean of barfing and diarrhea all over the house.”

She may be little, but I don’t doubt that she could do it. I had to explain what I was doing on the way up our street.

Yes the neighbors think I’m crazy, but I’m still here to tell about the close call I had today. I might be crazy, but crazy like a fox. No?

Horrorscopes

I like to read my horoscope. It’s frustrating, though, because I want something specific. If I’m going on a trip, I want it to say, “You will have a safe trip and your luggage will arrive on time.” Usually all I get is some random words strung together that could mean anything at all.

Lately the horoscope person has taken to posting sage advice. Perhaps she moonlights as a writer of fortune cookies and confuse what she’s supposed to be doing. I’m getting advice like, “No one likes a stick in the mud. You must always allow a little wiggle room.”

What does this mean? That I should be more lenient with my kids? That I should not try to do everything perfectly? That I should go dancing?

Today I had a unique horoscope. It said that Saturn and Uranus are in a fight in the sky so I shouldn’t try to start anything for several days. Honest, that’s what it said.

First of all, you can’t think of the name of that particular little planet without laughing. And to think that it’s up there in the sky picking a fight with Saturn makes it all the more funnier.

Let me clarify this. My horoscope said they were at odds with each other. That’s the same thing as a fight, right? Are they getting in a shoving match? Are they calling each other names?

Uranus: “You’re just a big rock surrounded by a bunch of dirty rings.”

Saturn: “Well you’re such a little pebble they don’t even think you’re a real planet.”

Uranus: “Why are you such a jerk?”

Saturn: “You calling me a jerk? You’re the one who started it.”

Uranus: “Did not.”

Saturn: “Did too.”

Uranus: “Well, you are surrounded with dirty rings, so there.”

Saturn: “At least I’m not an asshole.”

Almost as amusing as these two squabbling is the statement that I’m not supposed to start ANY activity. Does that mean I should not shower, walk the dog, or go grocery shopping? Aren’t these all considered activities?

I’m going to cut this out of the paper and show it to my husband. “Look, I can’t do the laundry for several days. You’re on your own.” And, “don’t even think about waking me up at 2 am wanting some activity. You know what my horoscope said.”

Thinking of horoscopes makes me think about the mirror I broke two days ago. I’m supposed to have 7 years of bad luck. In an heroic effort to counteract that, I’ve avoided black cats and ladders. Plus I’ve picked up several filthy coins off the street.

I was at my daughter’s track meet this evening (she pole vaulted 9 feet!!!!), and a girl dropped some change on the bleachers. The bouncing coins made loud clanging noises that was music to my ears because I figured I’d redeem some of that seven years with a couple of lucky coins (“find a coin and pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck”). I thought that girl wouldn’t bother picking them up because she was so embarrassed. But she soon recovered and said to her friends, “I’ve got to pick all of it up or I’ll have bad luck.”

So much for good luck for me. That darned mirror is probably why my planets are pulling each other’s hair and shooting spit wads at each other through space. And why I’ve got to avoid activity like shopping and getting a pedicure. It’s going to be a long seven years.

Rusty Saws and Beeping Comics

I always type my titles last, and the one tonight could be names for two rock bands. Yes, I stole that idea from Dave Barry. Sue me.

I was working late tonight in my home office and my husband was asleep on the couch where he usually is from about 7:00 on, and the TV was blaring on some gruesome History channel thing about cutting people’s legs and arms off. They showed these awful saws that the doctors used, saying how they had to briskly saw back and forth because it was hard to keep the patient still, even with two assistants holding the poor guy down. Ghastly. I can see the TV from my desk and even knowing I’d have nightmares, I couldn’t resist looking, which only served to disturb me.

I was too engrossed in what I was doing to go in and turn the hideous spectacle off at first, but finally I couldn’t take anymore. I turned it to Comedy Central thinking I could get subliminally inspired for tonight’s post by listening to jokes.

A show came on that was such an abomination I shudder to think this is the stuff my son is watching. I knew he is the target audience because it was an extremely trashy cartoon with the cartoon characters, trashing sketches of guys, saying stuff I didn’t think they allowed on TV. The plot was a teacher trying to teach boys not to have sex with hundreds of women. There may have been zombies involved, I kept hearing that word. The job of the teacher in this episode was to say the words, “…have sex with hundreds of women…” as many ways as he possibly could in one TV show. I think he broke his own record. Everything anyone said at any time was answered with something like, “We have to cure you so you won’t want to have sex with hundreds of women.”

Again, I was too engrossed in what I was doing to get up. My company is putting in a bid to do a huge solar project, and I’m designing the bid. I worked 16 hours today – mostly because I’m slow and meticulous (and make mistakes). I got ‘er done, though, but not without orofactory torture (that’s ear torture and Word is telling me it’s misspelled but I’m not looking it up this late at night).

The next show that came on was a stand up comedy show with this raunchy comedienne who may or may not have been funny. The audience was laughing, so I guess he was, but we viewers at home heard this: “And then the beep beeper said get your sorry beep beep beep the beep out of here or else I’ll knock the beep out of you with a beeping baseball bat after I ram it the beep up your beep.”

Do you know how annoying it is to hear all that high-pitched beeping when you’re exhausted? I’ll tell you how annoying it is. After about three minutes I had had it. I marched right in and turned off the TV, which startled my husband awake because I grabbed the remote, which he was not holding – but he has remote radar. If anyone touches the remote and he’s in another room he comes out flying and snatches it.

“Why’d you turn that off, I was watching that!”

“How come you were snoring?”

“I wasn’t snoring. I told you I don’t snore.”

I’m going to go to bed and put my earplugs in because I love having a wad of memory foam in my ears all night long, and dream of beeping rusty saws. Shiver!

Performance Anxiety

Does anyone except me have performance anxiety? Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about not being able to do things as well when someone is watching. I noticed this first when I tried to play piano at a recital. Even though I knew the piece backwards and forward because it was something very simple like chopsticks, when I got up in front of everyone my mind was blank as a dumb blond’s face.

Actually I was going to say: “As blank as a piece of notebook paper,” but then I decided that was a cliché. So I wondered what else was blank, and I thought of a blond girl I knew who used to stare off into space. That seemed to fit – I just added the “dumb” part because it seemed funnier.

Back to my recital. So I came up blank, and my teacher whispered, “D, then C.” He might as well have been saying @%#$ and &*%@# because I didn’t have a brain left to think. It had turned to liquid and was flowing under my shirt down to my ankles. My fingers were dis-attached from my body. I was frozen in time and space, except the time was passing very very slowly. I felt my classmates staring at me, waiting for the show to begin. I saw them start to squirm and look around. Still the fingers didn’t move. “Would you like to do your recital later,” I heard my teacher say in the distance. “Yes,” I said, like I was grabbing a lifeline.

Later came after the next person. By then I had rehearsed again and willed myself to perform, which I did, though I was miserable.

I decided that I was not cut out to be a concert pianist since I couldn’t perform. After that I started noticing a certain self-consciousness whenever people were watching.

A couple of nights ago I had a strange dream. I dreamed I was out in the woods taking pictures with my digital camera. I was capturing some gorgeous shots of flowers and honeybees when a school popped up that had a beautiful candy counter with exotic candies. I started taking pictures of them, getting some great shots, then President and Mrs. Obama drove up in a limo. The school authorities and colorfully clad children surrounded them, and I took pictures of that. Suddenly, Obama saw me and said, “Will you please get some pictures of me and the girls and candy?” I was astounded, even in my dream. But from that moment on, I could not take another picture. The lens fell off my camera. I pushed buttons that didn’t respond. I dropped the camera on the ground.

It’s pretty crazy when a person’s anxieties creep right into their dreams. Of course I was embarrassed to death because of all my fumbling. Finally the Obama’s went on their way, and I was left with no pictures, a broken camera and a broken heart.

I’ve decided I don’t care what people think. I’m going to do my best in spite of them watching. I’ll keep you posted about my success.

Inopportune Visits from the Police

This morning as I was racing across my bedroom from the shower to get to my closet, an idea popped into my head. You know those TV shows where the police break down someone’s door, their guns held out in front of them with both hands, as they yell, “FREEZE!!!!” Then they go through the house while dopers and greasers and thugs cower until one of the bad guys reaches for a gun and bullets start flying.

The residents of these places are drug dealers and murderers and other assorted no goods who expect the police to crash down their door at any minute.

Then you read in Reader’s Digest and other highly entertaining and informative journals about the police busting into a house with an elderly woman sitting there knitting who grabs her heart and has to be whisked off to the hospital because the police wrote the number down backwards or got the wrong street.

Ooops.

This seems to happen all the time. So as I was darting across the room in my birthday suit today, the thought crossed my mind: What if the police suddenly appeared at my bedroom door with their guns pointing at me and said, “FREEZE!!!”

Would I dive for cover because I was so embarrassed to be seen naked, risking my very life because I can’t manage to lose those extra few pounds that I don’t want anyone to see with the lights on?

What if I just stood there, naked as a Chihuahua? What would they do? Would they cuff me and drag me out into the street bare assed? Would they let me get a robe? Would they make fun of me? “Geeze, lady, how come you’ve let yourself go to fat? Hey Jack, come here and check this out. This woman’s got more dimples than a room full of babies. Ha Ha Ha!”

You never see these people who get busted on TV doing anything except sitting around the living room or running toward the back of the house. They’re fully clothed. On TV, the police never have to chase naked people around the house.

Then I had an even worse thought. What if I was on the toilet and they busted in? What if it was Number Two? What if they didn’t want to take any chances that I might run so they tried to cuff me right there? “Geeze, lady, what crawled up in you and died? I’m suffocating in here.”

“Please Mr. Nice Policeman, can I wipe before I go?”

“Aaaawgh, I gotta get out of here. Yeah, go ahead but don’t try any funny business. Ha Ha, Ha! Funny BUSINESS, get it?”

Then I thought: what if a couple were enjoying a little marital bliss on the dining room table and the police busted into the room. What would the husband do? “Officer, can you give me just 20 more seconds and I’ll go quietly?” And the wife? “Can you at least turn your heads? People got no manners these days.”

I entertained myself most of the morning with these scenarios. I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I might be subject to a sting by the local law enforcement authorities, because to the best of my knowledge I haven’t broken any laws warranting a door getting busted in. But if we’re to believe Readers Digest, then this could happen to any of us at any time. I thought about being constipated, and how a bust-in would work way better than X-Lax. If you have any funny scenarios, please share them.

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Copyright © 2020 by Suzanne Olsen